Best Tactical Flashlights: Bright Lights for Home and Protection

Shine a light in the darkness with these sturdy and bright tactical flashlights

Entering our 7th season of /DRIVE on NBC Sports, and with millions of YouTube and Facebook followers, The Drive is a leading authority of all things automotive.

The Drive on NBCThe Drive on YouTubeThe Drive on Facebook

  • Product Network

    16 Products

  • Clock

    7 Hours

  • Reviews

    9 Reviews

How We Decided

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.Read more.

PUBLISHED ON November 21, 2019

A flashlight is by far one of the most useful tools you can have. Yes, you can use your smartphone, but it is not as versatile as a tactical flashlight. Tactical flashlights are compact, lightweight, and extremely bright. You can even use them to defend yourself by blinding a would-be assailant. Here are the best tactical flashlights available.

  • Best Overall
    Streamlight ProTac Lumen Professional Tactical Flashlight

    A sturdy and highly shock-resistant tac light with a bright LED light and long-lasting life of 50,000 hours and 750 lumens.


    The flashlight is equipped with three different light modes: high, low, and strobe. It’s waterproof and includes a nylon holster.


    Enabling the different modes can be a hassle, and the finish can rub off if scraped or scuffed.

  • Best Value
    J5 Tactical Flashlight

    This tactical light is inexpensive, ultra-bright, lightweight, and stylish and comes with 350 lumens.


    It is water-resistant, tough enough to survive a nine-foot drop, and can be submerged in water. It features three modes as well.


    You have to click the button a few times to cycle through the settings, the belt clip is tight, and the battery life is on the lower end.

  • Honorable Mention
    GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight

    An easy-to-carry, powerful, and compact LED tactical flashlight with a military-grade aluminum anti-slip grip weighing just more than five ounces with  1,000 lumens.


    The light is able to focus up to 1,000 feet away, and it comes with five adjustable modes: high, medium, low, strobe, and wide-to-narrow beam. It is tough enough to take a 10-foot drop and be submerged in water.


    Switching to different modes is a process. You have to press the button a few times. And it may not actually be 1,000 lumens.

Why Trust Us

All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

Learn more


  • Be careful if you leave your flashlight in your pocket with other items. These items may turn the light on and off and wear down the battery while you walk.
  • The casing around the tactical light can get warm if the light is left on for an extended amount of time. Be sure to turn it off when not using it, or wear gloves if you have sensitive hands. It should never get too hot, however.
  • The strobe setting is used mainly to alert people of your position. If you are lost or need to signal someone else, use this mode to find your way.


Q: Are all tactical flashlights water-resistant?

A: The majority of tac lights should be water-resistant as they are designed to be used outdoors. However, this does not mean they should be submerged in water. A large amount of water can damage or ruin the batteries and the light. Using them in the rain or snow should be fine.

Q: Can I attach a tactical light to my bike?

A: You may be able to find a special mount to attach a tactical flashlight onto your bike frame. You need to keep in mind the size and weight of the light before attaching it. 

Q: What is a lumen?

A: A lumen is the measurement of the amount of light emitted per second by the flashlight. The more lumens means the more powerful the light will be. The batteries may run out more quickly on flashlights with more lumens.

Q: What types of batteries do tactical flashlights use?

A: Tactical flashlights typically run off of AA, 18650 lithium, or 14500 batteries. They can also run on rechargeable batteries to save money.

Final Thoughts

For one of the most powerful LED tactical flashlights, consider the Streamlight ProTac Lumen Professional Tactical Flashlight

Or save some cash and check out the J5 Tactical Flashlight for its compact design and bright lighting ability.